NEX FS 100…Sony’s affordable version of the F3, first footage

Very interesting this. My old friend Den Lennie was lucky enough to get his hands on two pre-production Sony NEX FS 100 and with Hangman Studios to make a music video.

This camera has a lovely S35 chip in it which is gorgeous, the same one apparently as the F3 and it has a really interesting nice form factor, very medium format…if this camera performs in low light as well as the F3 we will have an awesome camera! It records it AVCHD internally and will offer clean HDMI out so you can record in a better format for high end work…no SDI though it seems also no ND filters both of which the Af100 have. Also just one SDHDC slot…

For more info check out the Sony site. I personally am really looking forward to this baby! I just really hope it isn’t 24p or 25p…please be switchable.

Price is listed as $6550

From the press release:

BASINGSTOKE, UK, March 23, 2011 – Sony today revealed two new professional camcorders based on extensive customer feedback in the “NXCAM™” line-up. The NEX-FS100E is a new E-mount professional camcorder equipped with a Super 35mm motion picture sensor and is a further addition to Sony’s 35mm line-up. The HXR-NX70E is the world’s first rain and dust proof professional HD camcorder and is ideal for use in unforgiving environments. Sony’s expanding NXCAM line-up, including the existing HXR-NX5E provides a superb solution to many shooting applications.

The NEX-FS100E – Digital Super 35mm made affordable.

Originally announced in November 2010, Sony can now reveal the full specifications of the new NEX-FS100E. The NEX-FS100E is equipped with an ‘Exmor™’ Super 35 CMOS sensor specifically designed for shooting motion pictures. This large, super 35mm equivalent sensor is capable of producing footage with a shallow depth of field similar to that of a film camera. Thanks to this cutting edge sensor technology, it is possible to record the image in 1080/50p AVCHD format as well as capturing 1080p quality slow and quick motion.

“The NEX-FS100E NXCAM Super 35mm camcorder enables budget content creators and videographers to experience a new level of cinematic expression” said Bill Drummond, Strategic Marketing Manager, of Sony Professional. “Sony has responded to professional user feedback to create this new camcorder with an ergonomically designed body and accessories offering really flexibility in use.”

The NEX-FS100E adopts the Sony E-mount interchangeable lens system used in the “α” series NEX-5, 3 and NEX-VG10E “Handycam®”. It’s very short flange back distance (the distance between lens mount surface and sensor surface) allows various “α” A-mount lenses be mounted via a mount adaptor (LA-EA1). It is also possible to attach a huge range of other lenses, such as PL mount lenses using third-party mount adaptors*. With such flexibility, users will be able to experiment with numerous creative options by exploiting the characteristics of different optics.

* Not all types of adaptors and lenses are guaranteed. For details, please ask the adaptor manufacturers.

The NEX-FS100EK lens kit model comes supplied with the E18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS zoom Lens which gives users optical Steadyshot™ and auto focus.

The NEX-FS100E accepts affordable and readily available Memory Stick PRO Duo™ or SDHC cards. It is capable of recording images at various frame rates providing the added creative freedom of slow and quick motion with full HD. The camera operator can simply adjust the frame rate without using converters or editing software, making the camera ideal for commercials and music videos, as well as action scenes in budget movies for example. The grip, handle and hybrid LCD viewfinder are detachable also making it ideal for handheld scenes and shooting in confined locations.

The HXR-NX70E – World first dust proof and rain proof professional HD camcorder

Bill Drummond, Sony Professional, said of the new HXR-NX70E, “Filmmakers and journalists will travel to some of the most remote and dangerous locations in pursuit of a story. We wanted to respond with a camcorder that, like them, can stand up to the rigours of the world’s most challenging conditions. For this Sony has created the HXR-NX70E, a robust ultra-compact camcorder that allows them to not only capture footage in any conditions, but also store it on a 96GB internal memory. When you are miles from anywhere, you don’t want to be worrying about having to find an extra memory card!”


The main unit of the HXR-NX70E has been proven to reach dust-proof and rain-proof performance requirements specified by IEC60529 IP54. Sudden rain or dust will not affect the operation of the camcorder, making the HXR-NX70E ideal for the most inhospitable of environments.

The HXR-NX70E incorporates an ‘Exmor’ R CMOS sensor to deliver superior quality low-light footage and enhanced manual controls give the precision filmmakers need for shooting professional quality HD content . CinemaTone technology captures stunning footage with deeper, more film-like colour tones and the wide angle Sony G lens can take in more of the action with sharp images and brilliant, accurate colour. The optical SteadyShot image stabilisation with Active Mode also compensates for greater degrees of camera shake than ever before to deliver smooth video from wide angle to full telephoto perspectives. A built in GPS receiver makes the HXR-NX70E an ideal choice for journalists and documentary makers as it gives them the ability to ‘geotag’ footage when on location.

The NEX-FS100E and EK version will be available in May.

The HXR-NX70E will be available in June.



NEX FS 100 Video Blog from Den & James on Vimeo.


      1. Arghhh… UK version is 50/25P – NO 24P!!! US version is 60/30/24P… once again, the wonders of PAL. Only hope now is that the NEX-100’s firmware updater can be hacked to unlock 24P or all regions/framerates… at least Sony have put an updater option there.

      2. I’m really glad they duplicated the EX3 viewfinder. I think that is really what has made it the best HD video camera in that price range.

        However, I do not like where they’ve placed it! Why on top?!?! It will make it hard to get high shots. I often need to extend the tripod as high as it will go, or just hold cameras over my head to get a bird’s eye view. I won’t be able to do that with this camera because I won’t be able to see the screen! If the hinge was on the back instead of the center I could have still done so. Not an entirely fatal flaw, but still a huge mistake in my opinion.

        I would also like to have an SDI BNC spigot on it instead of an HDMI. Sony is probably trying to protect the F3.

        Other than that, I think it’s going to be far superior to the AF100 and I’m really looking forward to working with it!

    1. It may be the form factor of the future, but believe me they are a pain in the ar** to work with! Can somebody explain how we got to this style of working. What was wrong with old style camcorder?

      Oh give me an old 400 any-day. Or a 570isp,with an Anton Bauer on the back and a J8 and a matt box on the front! About 18ft long and the weight of a small car….but it was balanced!

      I’ll go take my tablets now.

  1. Looks like a very exciting “ergonomic nightmare”!!!

    All these manufactures should once in their life, maybe just once, have their hands on an Aaton camera. It would change electronic design forever, and I’m not talking about copying, just inspiration 🙂

    I find really hard to understand this absolute lack of ergonomic perspective. Our hands haven’t change in hundreds of thousand years, so why not make objects that are meant to be handle more friendly???

    Otherwise seems very interesting. Thanks.

  2. I’ve been eager to see this camera, but I’m a little flat now. No ND? No HD-SDI? I really want to like this over the AF101, but I’m finding it hard despite the much preferable form factor. How would you get around ND problem? Use a fader? I’m not keen on lugging matte boxes around everywhere just in case it gets a bit bright.

  3. Looks like it’s two versions… US or Europe? So no 24P & 25P on the same camera? That, and the lack of internal ND, is a shame at this price point. The lens options look good though and that S35 Exmor chip is a stunner!

  4. This looks pretty impressive.

    Not going to lie, since the 5D mk2 this is the first camera to get me excited.

    Not completely excited mind you, because it’s a little on the pricey side (I expect the UK price conversion will be aweful), and it’s not perfect, but it’s still a very promising prospect.

    1080p 60p would be nice to have, no doubts there. I get by without it, but no denying it would be nice.

    How is the rolling shutter on this camera?

    Wonder what Canon will strike back with here. Suffice to say the s35 sensor is hard to top. To me, aesthetically speaking, the Sony image is miles ahead. I would rank it behind only the 5D mk2 in terms of appeal, though give the convenience this camera gives it’s a better overall package.

    Still, it’s also 3x the price of a 5D mk2, and probably 3x the price of a 5D mk3, and who knows what goodies that could have, so will wait and see what’s worth picking up here. If there is one thing the af-101 getting effectively king hit so early by Sony here shows is that there is no point rushing in with these purchases.

    But well done on the whole Sony, looks like a really solid cam, bit cheaper and this would be killer.

  5. I like the look and build Sony has gone for with the help of Den Lennie, i feel it still won’t hurt the Video DSLR world much though, maybe if it was priced around $2000 but i doubt that would ever happen. I don’t get why canon can build an fairly inexpensive (e.g 7d) dslr with amazing video!! Yet if you strip away the photography side of it and put video functions on it then it costs $6000.
    Also is it me or does the video footage from the NEX FS100 look almost too sharp? Also could you stick any Canon L glass on it?

  6. Wow, I wasn’t expecting it to be so cool.

    He mentions 24mbit AVCHD but the specs say 28Mbits who’s right?

    The only real drawback of this is that Sony is the mount.

    If Canon had something like this out with a follow focus wheel and programmable points on the market it would become explosive!

  7. Is it my connection or is Vimeo just downloading very slowly lately? (all sites, not just yours…) Also, is it so hard for Sony to point out the actual size of the sensor? (as a comparison to say 4/3 (AF100/1), 2/3 (Red), or 36 x 24 mm–full frame, Canon 5D Mark II). And as a point of convenience, are there any lens adaptors (perhaps point them out) for Canon and Nikon lenses? I miss your in-depth practical reviews…

  8. It looks fucking really interesting.
    A lovely alternative for the Red Scarlet. Oh I see a lot of people from Reduser that are also reading this site that will beat me for saying that but…
    If it is really the same sensor as the F3, combined with an Atomos Ninja (which is now shipping !), that makes this little Sony a very good option. It is the same form factor (more or less) than the Scarlet.
    To me it’s 35mm Sensor Full HD ProRess VS 2/3″ sensor 3K RAW.
    Everybody doesn’t need RAW and/or 3K even if I think that the Scarlet might be the best option for that amount of money (since I’m kind of a “the most for the bucks” guy…).
    Taking computer power for editing into account, that Sony new Camera is a really nice option.
    Anyway, to me, some stuff is missing :
    – HD-SDI
    – not branded CineAlta so… No hypergammas ?
    – Is there aspect ratio markers on the screen (much like the AF-100)
    – is there any kind of customisable user gammas as we can find on some HDSLR ?
    – PAL version limited to 25p and 24p ? (and 50P overcranked… Where are the ten more frames ? Since the price tag is not to far of an EX1R, it could be… Nice to have those 10 more frames… :p)

    It is certainly a quite good camera, but I need to see more footage and read more about it. But quite a nice option indeed.

  9. To be really honest… The picture looks like broadcast video with added DOF.
    I personally don’t like the looks. It’s not a DSLR look – far from the warm 5Dmk2, and VERY far from any film look.
    Too sharp, too clean, too Sony.

    The statement that this camera is going to make a dent in HDSLR sales is nonsense. Most DSLR filmers can not afford a 6k$ camera.

    It’s a weak AVCHD codec, so you’ll need to invest in a digital recorder such as the Ninja ($900) or the Nanoflash ($3000). No SDI on this baby neither!

    You probably also want a nice rig with followfocus and a few lenses? And a decent monitor? So then you’re looking at a 9,000$ camera here.

    Low light is great, and also are the multiple mounting points (threads).

    Just my thoughts… Not running to the stores for this one. Still saving up for that Scarlet and waiting what NAB is going to bring.

    Martin Beek

  10. That is the biggest new of this year !! You can have twice of that NEX for the price of an F3 and for the almost same price of the Panasonic AF101.
    It seems that the HDSLR will be soon return to his first job; the picture still capture.

  11. Drool!…Slurp!
    This is a nice price compared to a $20,000+ sensor box! However, being in the indie side of things, it’s still 6 times the price of a GH2.

    Are there 2 DSLR markets?: the pro market who benefits from the size vs image quality – and – the indie market that benefits from the price vs image quality. Interesting the speed of the evolution of cameras due to the DSLR smash.

      1. won’t it?

        focal flange distance is smaller on sony E than on m43 (18mm vs 20mm), and mount throat is wider (46.1mm vs 38mm), and the voigtlander has a manual aperture ring so you can use a dumb adapter (actually there are some on ebay, but maybe you can get a better one elsewhere)

        and the sensor is not THAT much bigger (1.9x vs 1.52x crop), so with some luck you’ll get heavy vignetting but no hard black circle

        there’s only one way to know…

        1. well, actually there are two ways to know, the second one being lookint around on the web for someone who has already tried something similar:

          (scroll to the end for some nice sample shots)

          * those ebay adapters have issues
          * the image circle is not big enough, that 20% sensor size is actually too much
          * it may still be useful for extreme low-light situations, when the alternative may be just not shooting

  12. it’s too bad the the UK PAL version of the NEX FS 100 is locked into 50fps and 25p. the NTSC version doesn’t have the same issues. do you think this is this a result of the tax on video cameras? or just sony?
    Here are the compared rates – unless they have plans to make it NTSC and PAL switchable.

    Recording Frame Rate NTSC Mode
    PS (28Mbps) 1920×1080 60p,
    HD FX (24Mbps) 1920×1080 30p
    HD FX (24Mbps) 1920×1080 24p,
    HD FX (24Mbps) 1920×1080 60i,
    HD FH (17Mbps) 1920×1080 60i,
    HD HQ (9Mbps) 1440×1080 60i,
    HD LP (5Mbps) 1440×1080 60i,
    HD FH (17Mbps),1920×1080 24p,
    HD FH (17Mbps) 1920×1080 30p,
    HD FX (24Mbps), 1280×720 60p,
    HD FH (17Mbps) 1280×720 60p
    HQ (9Mbps) 720×480/60i (30p Scan)
    , HQ (9Mbps), 720×480/60i (24p Scan),

    PAL version
    Recording frame rate
    HD PS (28Mbps) 1920×1080/50p,
    HD FX (24Mbps) 1920×1080/50i,
    HD FH (17Mbps) 1920×1080/50i,
    HD HQ (9Mbps) 1440×1080/50i,
    HD LP (5Mbps) 1440×1080/50i,
    HD FX (24Mbps) 1920×1080/25p,
    HD FH (17Mbps) 1920×1080/25p,
    HD FX (24Mbps) 1280×720/50p,
    HD FH (17Mbps) 1280×720/50p,
    SD/STD HQ (9Mbps) 720×576/50i
    (Due to variable bitrate, 24Mbps is the maximum bitrate for AVCHD FX mode and the average bitrate is being stated for FH, HQ and LP modes.)

  13. I don’t know what other people think, but having the LCD screen on the top isn’t great for me. It means you’re still at a disadvantage if you want to get any impromptu shots with the camera lifted above your head (which is surprisingly common in ENG).

    Other than swiveling the screen around for clients, and looking kind of badass with the viewfinder on, I don’t see the logic ergonomically of putting it there.

    Otherwise it sounds like a great camera…..annoying

  14. hah, just wen I got myself a second Canon DSLR (60D + Z-finder 3X) I read this.. oh well, it is not like everything has become obsolete.

    Liking the Ex3 like viewfinder, shame the start-stop needs a cable, would be nice to have an internal one on the grip and a connector. Not sure the XLR positions are going to make my sound mates happy, still a cool camera. No SDI out, so let’s hope Red shows up at the same time this hits the market 🙂

  15. Well done! Thank you for the great hands on review and the input in the making of this camera. As an EX1R and EX3 owner, I am excited about where things are going with this S35 Exmor chip. The times..they are a changin’!

  16. I do like this camera.
    It is good i waited for that release instead of buying an “unfinished F3”.
    I think Sony will sell truckloads of FS100.
    So now we have to wait for EPIC-s release and perhaps new Canon 5D i hope.


  17. No ND-filter!!!! This cancels this camera off my list. I shoot with DSLR now, and am often so run-n-gun that separate ND filters are not possible (I’ve used the FaderND and find it a bit cumbersome). This is too basic of a thing for a video camera for them to withdraw, just to make us by the F3.

    Is there no red/pink focus assist? I used that on someone elses JVC once and it was awesome. One of the main reasons I’m considering the AF100.

    I’m really looking to Canon to make something interesting here!

    1. I was really excited about this camera…until I saw the footage. If it can’t compete with the image quality of at least a 7D then it most certainly will not make a dent in the current HDSLR market at that price point. The video I’ve seen from it looks ‘ENG’ with better DOF, lacking that warm, cine-like ‘magic’ that the 5Dmk2 and even 7D has.

      When Cannon puts a 5Dmk2 and/or a 7D chip into a proper video camera with interchangables at say 4-4.5K then it’ll be time to cheer. Does anyone see this as an impossibility?

  18. I wasn’t overly impressed with the footage towards the end. The way he was talking about it it sounded mind blowing. Honestly I wasn’t too chuffed.

    I’m extremely interested in the nx70 though. Any test footage from that?

  19. As I understand it, to get 4:2:2 color space you must record to a nanoFlash. Is that correct?
    That would be very annoying since that would mean a lot more money.

    I must ask again: Why don’t these manufacturers build in the specs they KNOW shooters want and need? If they know pros need 4:2:2 & 50 mbps, why not make that the minimum standard for all cameras of this type?

    Canon came so close to building the perfect camera with their XF305, but they came up 17 percent short when they used a 1/3 inch sensor instead of a 1/2 inch.

    Someday, one of these companies will go for a home run instead of a double or triple.

  20. I know it is too early and not having the camera to test but, watching this music video I noticed several things:

    1- The camera is very very noisy compared with the AF 101 (compare this clip with Philip´s music video on the AF 101 and you will see what I mean
    2- The sensor has a strange response to bright lights i.e. outside Victoria Station the underground sign is unreadable.
    3- The bookeh is not what I expected from a camera with this sensor size…it´s a blurry spot of colors with gradation problems

    This is only my opinion and before having tried the camera but a comment to what I see. Thank you for showing us this images.

    P.S. – Please don´t blame it on vimeo…I am comparing this to other uploaded videos and the guys who uploaded the video are experts so no uploading of wrong formats.

      1. I remember when I saw you in Adelaide just recently at your dslr workshop and you talked about how even if more brands come out with camera’s like this dslr will still be used and loved or something to that effect, I totally agree. Even if I was to buy another camera I’m keeping my dslr, it’s such a great camera to have around. Great to see you still are very much a supporter of them 🙂

  21. It seems that Canon is coming with a bunch of new DSLR that would have the same codec as the XF305 Camcorder (XDCAMHD422, 50MMb/sec… Well Canon does not call it that way because XDCAM is a Sony brand but it is exactly the same codec).

    It’s a rumor we can find on Canon Rumors. If it is true, the DSLRs will stay in the race I think.

    Anyway to me that Sony super 35 cam is lacking a lot of basic features that… Well, I can live without BUT it is juste a shame not to have it. The only two thing that are better compared to the AF-100 are the sensor (of it’s really the same as in the F3) and the viewfinder system like on the EX3.

  22. I understood that the F3 the sensor was native HD. Thus I assumed it would have 1080 X 1920 = 2.073.600 pixels. Yet in the NEX-FS100E brochure it says 3.370.000 effective pixels. So it is not really native, right?

  23. Having all of the mounting points seems like the wanted to go for modular design, but the form factor here looks like a boxy shark tank with xlr’s for ears. Philip your af101 pics with the pancake lens was on the cusp of this anti-aesthetic craze.
    Could this turn into a race for the ugliest looking camera?

    Excuse me but I am now going downstairs to rebuild my computer so the components all mount on the outside…

  24. I wonder if a pistol grip under the camera (like a Bolex H16) would be a handy accessory for handheld work?

    Especially if we can get a zoom rocker and start-stop in there too. Needs an adjustable sliding ‘backbone’ to counterbalance lenses on the front, but would make sense of the viewfinder positioning and make it ergonomically easier to support the weight…

  25. I can’t wait to see this camera up close! It’s sweet to see a camera with such great feature. Even though $6,000 is still a lot of money by most peoples standards this really looks worth it and very well priced!

    I’m so glad to see film makers helped design this camera!

    Bring on May…

  26. The footage looks not great. Flat. Lowlight stuff feels ruddy. Oversharp and ENG-ish as others are mentioning, I find myself thinking of PBS when I watch it. I hope people don’t pay $6000 for that image.

      1. I’ve seen E mount Lomo OCT-18 and OCT-19 mount lenses. OCT-18 mount lenses are a bargain but not great for pulling focus. I’ve used these on my Konvas 1M cameras with an anamorphic(almost S35)gate no problem. It would seem to cover the sensor area maybe a bit more. Don’t know if every focal length would work. They are listed on ebay. Ever try them?

  27. We got the Sony NEX FS100 to document our around he world flight. Only had it for 2 hours and it needs to go back for repairs. The SD slot does not work.

    Have had several different cameras over the years. First one to have this problem.

  28. Hello,
    I have just demo tested the NEX-100 PAL version and was really surprised that the monitor was really juttery when in 25p mode with a shutter at 1/25th. Panning was really awful so i ask the sales man why and he gives me some nonsense that the image is only fluid if you shoot in 50p. It was true, panning jutter was very reduced. I wanted to find out if any of you that own the camera have the same problem? I was unable to record any thing or see the return on another monitor, so all I can judge is the camera monitor.

    many thanks
    PS, does nayone know where I can download a test file directly from the camera?

      1. Many thanks.
        Do you know why one should double the frame rate? Normally, 25p should give a fluid image. Also, one loses the slomo difference.

  29. It can and has been used to produce a television show. It’s actually a lovely camera, and while it has limitations (as all cameras do), we had a great time with it. You can see it in action on the BIO channel show “Beyond: Messages from 9/11”, airing 9/10 – check your local listings.

    We shot 99% of the show on the FS-100 with Nikon glass, and everyone from the DP to the EP were pleased with the images. We actually ended up cutting back out lighting package after the first couple days, the camera just doesn’t need much to get what we wanted.

  30. Hi Philip I loved the review on the sony nex fs100. I know it is a response to the expensive f1, but do you thing it will get cheaper as its so new compared to other cameras in the DSLR world. Cause I love DSLR cameras and the way you can change lenses “Candon 7D” but I would love a camras with the right jacks, and less rolling shutter basically more camcorder. wich i think the sony fs100 is great for.

    Kind Regards x

  31. Regardless of price, between the Canon XA10 and the Sony HXR-NX70 is there significantly different image quality? I’m tossing up between the two and the compact size, XLR inputs and detachable top handle are my main requirements. The water/dust proofing is great but not essential. Does one of the two stand out above the other for picture quality or low light quality? Looking at PAL models for both.

    Thanks for the wealth of info your site offers. Great for a newcomer to the scene.

  32. Your gig at is over the top. You are great at this doctor. I think speaking there proves to your dad that he is in the wrong business. No one would know who he is all over the world and that he smokes and is a doctor. I think i saw him smoking. Well he needs to do something wrong. He is lucky to have a world famous speaker at the great hall of medicine.
    I can’t wait for part 2. come on put it up. mickey i live next to disneyland here in usa, anaheim ca. regards.

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